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Triple Feeding: A Strategy for New Moms and Struggling Babies


If you’re a new parent who is figuring out feeding routines for your newborn, you might have stumbled upon the term “triple feeding.” Although breastfeeding seems like it should be the most natural process in the world, many mothers and babies face challenges that make it anything but easy. Triple feeding is a method adopted by countless mothers to tackle common breastfeeding issues and ensure their babies get the nutrition they need to thrive. This blog post aims to break down the concept of triple feeding, discuss when it might be necessary, and offer tips on how to manage this demanding but often essential routine.

What is Triple Feeding?

Defining the Process

The term “triple feeding” references a strategy involving three key steps taken to feed a newborn: Breastfeeding: The first step naturally is to attempt breastfeeding, which helps encourage milk production and maintains the baby’s latch. Pumping: Immediately after or between feedings, a mother pumps breast milk, either to stimulate milk production or to collect milk for a later feeding. Supplemental Feeding: The third step involves feeding the baby with the expressed milk or with formula, often through a bottle or a feeding syringe.

When Would You Need Triple Feeding?

Triple feeding often comes into play under these circumstances:

  • A baby is not gaining enough weight solely from breastfeeding.
  • A baby has a weak suck or latch and cannot extract enough milk from the breast.
  • The mother has a low milk supply and needs to stimulate production.
  • The infant struggles feeding due to premature birth, or medical conditions such as tongue-tie.

The Challenges and Things To Consider

Time and Dedication

Given its repetitive and multi-faceted nature, triple feeding is time-consuming and exhausting. It’s crucial to prepare mentally for the dedication required and, if possible, seek help from others during the process.

Maintaining Your Milk Supply

Frequent stimulation of the breasts through both direct breastfeeding and pumping is essential to maintaining and increasing your milk supply. It’s a cycle that feeds on itself: the more you breastfeed and pump, the more milk you’re likely to produce.

Keeping Your Baby Happy

Juggling breastfeeding, pumping, and supplemental feeding can seem overwhelming. Ensuring that your baby is content throughout these steps can be managed by utilizing skin-to-skin contact and being responsive to your baby’s cues.

Equipment and Techniques for Successful Triple Feeding

Choosing the Right Breast Pump

Having a quality breast pump is essential. It can be the difference between a frustrating or a successful pumping session. Look into acquiring a hospital-grade pump or a high-quality electric pump with a double pumping feature.

Feeding Tools

Not all babies take well to bottles, especially if they are having issues with latch and suck. Investigate alternative feeding methods such as:

  • Sippy cups (for older infants)
  • Syringe feeding
  • Tube feeding systems that can be used at the breast

Storage Practices

Understanding the best practices for storing breast milk is vital. Storage containers should be sterile and intended for breast milk. Follow the guidelines for the length of time breast milk can be safely stored in a refrigerator or freezer.

Socio-Emotional Implications

Maternal Well-Being

The demands of triple feeding can place a significant strain on a mother’s emotional health. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or disappointed, and mental health support is advisable for mothers finding the process stressful.

Family Support and Dynamics

The involvement and understanding of family members are critical in supporting triple feeding. Spouses, partners, or other family members can assist with bottling and cleaning equipment, caring for the baby during non-feeding times, and providing emotional support.

Practical Tips for Managing Triple Feeding

Stay Organized: Create a schedule flexible enough to adapt to your baby’s needs, but structured to ensure all steps of triple feeding are completed. Hydration and Nutrition: Maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated is even more essential when triple feeding. You are feeding two people, and your body needs support to produce milk. Create a Comfortable Space: Establish a comfortable and convenient area in your home where all your feeding tools are easily accessible. Communicate with Healthcare Professionals: Maintain close communication with your baby’s pediatrician and your lactation consultant. They can provide invaluable advice and adjustments to your triple feeding routine. Explore Community Resources: Look into breastfeeding support groups, either locally or online, where you can share experiences and receive encouragement from other parents going through similar challenges. Prioritizing Rest: While it’s another thing to fit into a packed schedule, adequate rest is critical. Look for opportunities to sleep or relax when your baby sleeps or when others can help.


Triple feeding is a demanding method used to ensure the health and growth of newborns who may be having difficulty getting enough nutrition from breastfeeding alone. While the process is rigorous and can be discouraging at times, with the right approach, mindset, and support, it can be an effective temporary measure to overcome initial feeding hurdles.

Additional Resources

Parents who undertake triple feeding often benefit from further reading and professional advice. Consider looking into these resources:

  • Local breastfeeding clinics or lactation consultants.
  • Online forums dedicated to breastfeeding difficulties.
  • Books and articles that talk extensively about breastfeeding challenges and solutions.

Remember to also lean on your support system, as emotional backing can make a considerable difference when navigating the complexities of triple feeding. With hard work, patience, and support, this period in your baby’s life will hopefully lead to a successful breastfeeding experience moving forward.